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Board of Ed Gives Kudos to Students

The last Board of Education meeting of the school year was a departure from the usual debates and policy business. Instead, the board honored a number of talented Greenwich students The students ranged from an ace speller to a math whiz and a musician.

Christo Popham, a 5th grader from Old Greenwich School was one of 274 students from across the country to compete in the 2010 National Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. in front of hundreds of fans and a live television audience. Popham was one of three Connecticut students who went to the national competition after winning the 2010 Heart Connecticut Media Group Regional Spelling Bee held in Danbury.

"Cristo is a humbling young man whose enthusiasm for learning is contagious," said Patricia Raneri, principal of Old Greenwich School. "Moreover, he is a good friend and a contributing member of our community."

The math champ was an Eastern Middle School student, Micheal Kural, who recently represented Connecticut in the national "Math Counts" competition in Orlando, Fla. Kural was the highest-scoring individual competitor in the state, which earned him one of four spots on the national team.

Ricco Burkhardt, a Greenwich High School senior won First Place in the 2010 MENC. NSBA National Electronic Music Talent Search. Burkhardt's piece, "Does Murder Sleep," was influenced by Shakespeare's Macbeth and was chosen from among 200 entries.

Entries were judged based on aesthetic quality, composition, use of electronic media and presentation. "It took me about two to three months into the school year to start working on it and then it was nonstop from there," said Burkhardt. "I worked really hard on the piece and it feels great to have accomplished so much."

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